10 Top Tips for Finding a Property to Rent in the UK
Looking for a new place to stay can be unbelievably stressful and this is even truer when moving to a new city or country. Luckily, you aren’t in this alone because I’ve got your back covered with ten helpful tips that will make the whole process go a lot smoother and will hopefully help you find the perfect place to live within your means. Speaking of living within your means, let’s get straight to the list with the most important aspect to any successful house hunt: money!
#1 Define Your Budget
You need to know what you’re looking for before you can ever get started looking for it and in order to figure that out, you must first flesh out a realistic and concrete set of budgetary guidelines. Break out your spreadsheets and calculator and get deeply honest with yourself while making your budget. Make sure you leave yourself a bit of wiggle room for incidentals, savings, and the occasional splurge. Once you have a price range in mind, the real search can begin.
#2 Gather Detailed Information
It’s time to get your Google on. The more information you have about the area you’re moving and any potential accommodations, the more prepared you are for the reality of living there and the easier it will be to find something you’ll actually be able to enjoy living in. This is a good time to learn about the city itself as well as its distinct areas. Armed with information about the city, you’ll have a better understanding of the pros and cons of different sections and have a good idea for why some places are a lot cheaper than others.
#3 Make a List of Must-Haves
It’s important to have a list of things you couldn’t live without. This allows you to easily cross items off your list if they don’t meet your criteria. Having the ability to immediately rule out options will drastically cut down on wasted time while looking over all the places available to you. Make sure your list is detailed and specific, and it becomes a lot easier to skim past places that simply won’t work for you and your needs. This leads us directly to our next tip which is making sure to keep things realistic.
#4 Don’t Be Overly Picky
It’s essential that you know what your deal-breakers are, in order to avoid wasting time; however, make sure they are actual deal-breakers and not just minor peeves. You can easily find yourself rocketing over your price range by demanding way too much for how much you’re able to afford. So, make a list of what you can’t live without, but be honest and realistic with yourself when doing so because the willingness to make concessions can often lead to you finding great places that are much more comfortably affordable.
#5 Come Prepared
When you do finally get around to checking places out in person, make sure you show up with your game face on and armed with all of that information you’ve been gathering. Being prepared is courteous and professional towards those you’re meeting with, and it also helps you make sure you don’t forget to ask any of the important questions you might have during your meeting. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and headache by making sure you’re completely prepared for the occasion. This point also leads us nicely into the next bit of advice: be organized!
#6 Keep Organized
Keep track of all the information you gather as that research won’t do you any good if you can’t recall any of it. You’re likely to be looking at a lot of places, and they can all very easily jumble together, so make sure you keep records of each place you visit and keep any documents you receive together. It’s really important to leave yourself detailed notes that will help spark your recollection when you’re going over this information later in order to make your decision. Organization plays a huge role in most things in life, searching for a place to stay is no different.
#7 Consider Getting a Roommate
This is for those of us who aren’t blessed with bottomless pockets. Renting can be very expensive, especially in popular cities. Having a roommate or group of people to split the cost can help drastically reduce your rent. However, roommates add a whole new dynamic to your search for a place to stay and to the living situation itself. It’s imperative you find roommates that aren’t going to drive you insane (or ones that you aren’t going to make wacko!) so make sure you do your due diligence when vetting potential roommates if you do decide to go this route. Get to know the people you’ll be sharing a space with before signing anything if you can.
#8 Ask Locals
People who have actually lived in the city, area, or even the building you’re considering moving to are great sources for all the nitty gritty details of what to expect. They can often clue you into something you would never have thought to even ask about before speaking with them. As with all research, do your best to find quality, verifiable information.
#9 Compare and Contrast
Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a handful of potential spots, it’s time to get cracking on a Pros and Cons list. Weigh out your options carefully and really pin down the details of what your expectations are for each place. This can help a whole lot when it finally comes time to make the choice.
#10 Use Online Lettings Agencies
The internet is a wonderful place, and it’s full of information and tools that help make the search for a new flat much easier to take advantage of a national lettings agency like accommodation.co.uk and leverage every tool to your best advantage.
I hope you found this list helpful. Please let me know in the comments if this was helpful for you or if you have any tips for your fellow house hunters. Good luck in your searches!